I’m now three quarters of the way through a course from the Oxford Coaching & Mentoring School (OCM) to achieve a Certificate in Coaching & Mentoring. It has been a powerful journey so far, teaching me a lot about myself, what it means to be a good coach and what coaching can bring to someone’s life.
When discussing all this with my friends, I realised that very few of them really understand what coaching is and how it works and hardly any of them have ever worked with a coach. So here is my take on coaching. If having a coach might interest you, I’m looking to work with a few more coachees – more details below.
What is coaching?
Coaching works on the basis that empowering someone to find the answers they need is the best way to support them.
While we often have managers, mentors, colleagues and others in our lives who we turn to for advice, coaching is different because it works on the basis that empowering someone to find the answers they need is the best way to support them, rather than instructing or advising.
Telling someone what your approach would be is all very well but it can take away the ownership of the end result and may not be the right advice or approach for them because we’re all different. Coaching does the opposite, supporting the coachee to learn more about themselves, understanding their habits, blind spots and unconscious decision patterns, so they can become more aware of what is influencing them and how they could improve their decisions, outlook or circumstances. They can then apply these learning to all other areas of their life so the benefits are sustained.
That doesn’t mean a coach will just sit and listen while you do all the hard work. Coaches have a range of tools to guide you, such as personality profiling, personal development planning, feedback interviews and reflection notes. They are also trained to make relevant observations about you, from a neutral standpoint, always with the aim of raising your self-awareness and supporting your self-development.
How can coaching help me?
Effective coaching can help you to understanding more about yourself, what motivates you, where your strengths are and where you might need more support. As a result, it can help you to grow in confidence and reach your full potential, taking on greater responsibility or new challenges, and feeling more energized and excited about the possibilities that are open to you.
For this reason, coaching is useful in all kinds of challenges, goals and self development. For instance, when you:
- Want to make a change, such as a career move
- Are unsure about the future and what you want
- Have lost your motivation or direction
- Want to find more purpose or meaning in your work
- Want to reach the next level in your career
- Have a goal in mind but aren’t sure how to achieve it
- Are taking on a new project and want to make it a success
- Are at a new stage in life and need to adjust
- Are facing management challenges
What is involved?
There’s no set formula for coaching but it is usually more powerful if it happens over a sustained time period, with initial goals outlined upfront. A typical situation would be to have one session a month for an agreed period, with relevant feedback, resources and ‘homework’ taking place between sessions. A final session will look at progress towards this goal.
A bit about me
Although I’m still working on my coaching qualification, I have ten years’ experience in in marketing and communications and have always looked to coach others throughout my career.
My life journey has taken me from the office to a small village in the South of France, which has given me a conviction in the power of living your dream, no matter how daunting it might seem.
I am also a qualified and practising yoga teacher, which has taught me relaxation and meditation techniques that I can apply to my coaching.
If you’re interested in coaching or have any questions contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org